I found myself at Barbes twice this past weekend, coming away satisfied both times. Friday night featured the latin-jazz-rock sounds of Zemog El Gallo Bueno (loosely translated as "Land of the Good Rooster.") They played fast and tight, esp. the brass and percussion, making the whole packed room get up and dance.
Sunday brought the monthly installment of Barbes Classical, with violist Jennifer Stumm playing a refreshingly eclectic program than included a transcription of Penderecki's Viola Concerto for solo viola, and Gyorgy Kurtag's "Signs, Games, Messages" for viola and violin (with Susie Park of the Eroica Trio). Both were startlingly intense and virtuosic: this is the kind of music that needs to be seen performed live to fully appreciate, and these young players have more than a passing taste for it. Expect to hear more at the next Barbes Classical on Jan. 20, when the Parker Quartet will be joined by house regulars One Ring Zero.